Dangote Petroleum Refinery Will Save Nigeria $3b Annually, Create Jobs for Young Nigerians – Gov. Obaseki
By Eguasa Godspower
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed optimism on the ongoing industrial revolution taking place in Nigeria with the successful completion and commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery in Lagos, noting that it would save the country about $3b annually from import, once it commences operation.
Obaseki disclosed this while briefing journalists at the project site, during the commissioning exercise held on Monday 22nd May, 2023, at the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
Obaseki said: “Beyond the commissioning, I mean, the fact that we have now finally gotten to a position where we can begin to refine products, particularly PMS; petrol and diesel locally, is revolutionary; it is a breakthrough.
“So, what it means in lay terms is that we would be saving up to $3b a year from not importing. That is more than the amount we spend today on all our infrastructure, education, and health.
“That sort of money is coming back into the economy for growth, but beyond it, is that certainty of supply, that capacity, to not only produce for your own market, but also be able to export to the rest of the continent. You are now processing and refining better quality products, internationally great and viable products”.
Obaseki, while highlighting the inflow of foreign exchange as one of the major benefits to be enjoyed as a country with the operationalization of the refinery, noted that the issue of vehicles developing faults as a result of bad petroleum product will become a thing of the past.
He said: “Before now, the bulk of what we used to buy was like low grade; so it affected our vehicles. But today, we are producing something that is of international grade, and we can now sell and earn more foreign exchange.
“So, it is for me, a game changer for Nigeria, because it does not only save you what you used to spend on imports, it is now even giving you the capacity to earn more”.
Obaseki also highlighting the benefits of the secondary materials from the refinery said: “Consider other materials that will come out of the refinery, particularly the petrochemical plant; I mean everything else here are all petrochemicals.
“That means we now have base materials to produce most of these things that we need for packaging, for equipment, like everywhere else, and that is a big export for us”.
Obaseki who decried unemployment as one of the most critical and lingering issues that has affected the lives and productivity of Nigerian citizens, expressed delight over the potential job creation, both direct and indirect, which the refinery will enable.
According to Obaseki, “The biggest challenge for Nigeria today is jobs for young people. Why have we not created the number of jobs that I believe we should; beyond just investing in facilities like this that create direct jobs, the materials which will be produced here will now have a multiplier effect on a whole range of industries.
“Maybe you are in the business of food processing and you wait to import all your packaging materials in the past, today you can make your packaging here, which means that you can do more. What we see is that, this is the lever you need for industrialization”.
The Dangote Refinery, when in full operation, is expected to have the capacity to process about 650,000 barrels per day of crude oil, making it the largest single-train refinery in the world. The investment is over 19 billion US dollars.